The preservation and improvement of the races of domesticated plants is a most interesting topic. Grafts carry the diseases of the parent with them; again divided, the disease is again propagated, and this will go on. So from sports, the means employed to preserve these peculiarities, of habit may be, and often are, a most important matter, and from these, still more valuable qualities may make their appearance.

Monstrons Canterbury Bell.

Fig. 1. Monstrons Canterbury Bell.

Sudden alterations in the quality of seedling plants often occur from no apparent cause, just as those accidental changes, called "sports," in the color or form of the leaves, flowers, or fruit, of one single branch of a tree, occasionally break oat, we know not why. Of these things physiology can give no account; but it is certain, say Lindley and others, that when such sports appear, they indicate a violent constitutional change in the action of the limb thus affected, which change may sometimes be perpetuated by seed, and always by propagation of the limb itself where propagation is practicable. A sport is a sadden change of one thing into another, different in some striking respect, as when a peach tree produces a smooth fruit (a nectarine) among its downy brood. When some Celcesea suddenly formed its flowers upon a thickened, flattened stalk, and they became more crowded than usual, we had a cockscomb, which is a "sport" It has a tendency to increase under skilful management, as was shown by Andrew Knight, when he, by a single effort, brought a cockscomb plant to measure eighteen inches across, and only seven indies high.

An analogous change is represented in Fig. 1, which is not on-common in the Canterbury Bell, whose flowering stem becomes fasciated, and the flowers ran together into a magnificent crescent-shaped head. Gardeners have not yet attempted to fix this striking character, and yet it might, perhaps, be secured as is the cockscomb.

A Mr. Salter, of London, observed among his seedling Dahlias one which produced a number of green, scaly flower-heads, but no perfect flowers. This was propagated, and every plant was covered with similar heads of scales. All the plants were vigorous, but there was not a single perfect flower-head upon any of them, so that the sport became immediately fixed. Wheat has been produced from the wild grass (AEgi-lops ovata), by watching its increasing tendency to sport, till it was not excelled in quality on the neighboring farms. M. Esprit Fabre was the patient experimenter. Thus came our varied Chrysanthemums, etc. etc.

Monstrous Dahlia.

Fig. 2. Monstrous Dahlia.